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Could be stuck on 7 points for a while.........
at 22:49 20 Sep 2019

We really needed that win tonight because you would have to say, it looks highly unlikely we will get any points against Spurs or Chelsea. Following that it is Wolves and whilst they have had a poor start you just know they will break it against us. After that I believe it is Leicester and Man City!

Many of our fans, me included many times, have lauded the Ralph Hassenhuttl effect, but tonight and against the first half at Sheff Utd he has got his team and tactics wrong. At Sheff he got away with it, tonight, he did not. We cannot even complain of decisions going against us, because so far VAR has worked in our favour.

What I am really not getting is this:-

- why the repeatedly poor first half of games?
- why, no matter who we put up front, are we so impotent?

We have all covered our issues in defence for several windows now and tonight it was shocking at times. It seems that even RH hasn't got a clue what combination to put there, but I feel, for as unreliable as they all are, he needs to settle on some sort of combination and not keep swapping it around - though he seems settled on Vestergaard and that bewilders me (I appreciate, I am in danger of contradicting myself here). But, for the life of me and I suspect everyone on here, why oh why have we allowed this defensive issue and lack of investment to continue window after window. Whatever small steps we have made are in danger of being erased by this negligence.

As poor as we are at the back, we are equally as poor up front. Harry Wilson not a PL player before this season has scored 3 goals in 5 games. Timo Pukki for Norwich, new to the PL has scored in virtually every game so far, Mason Mountford for Chelsea and James Daniel for Man U, new to the PL have shown that they know where the net is, yet, no matter, who we put up front, experienced or new, seem to become totally goal-shy.

Nick goes on about Captains and leaders and he is right - tonight, in a number of positions, we did not have one, whereas in Bournemouth there was noticeably several. Bournemouth were second best in the second half and we were the better side then. The first half cost us because we were a shambles, the second half cost us, because we can't seem to find the net.

Our home record, whichever way you look at, under several managers now, is truly awful.

As much as I enjoyed last weeks game and result at Sheff, I did feel the result papered over the on-going issues and I also feel Ralph needs to be careful not to become arrogant and blinded by hype.
Membership cards
at 22:34 20 Aug 2019

A serious question, but has anyone heard or have any knowledge as to when we may expect our much treasured and paid for membership cards? As far as I can tell, there has not been any communication to explain when we may receive them or why the delay, but the club happily took my hard earned cash quickly enough!
My take on yesterday!
at 20:35 18 Aug 2019

After the game yesterday, I left feeling frustrated, disappointed and if I learnt anything, is that when a top 6 side has an off day they are still probably more likely to win even if Saints have a good day.

Last week I was somewhat dismayed by our performance. This week, I thought we would put in a shift, but I still expected us to lose and so it was. In the first half we largely did the right thing and Liverpool looked generally out of sorts. But, of course, we failed to create enough chances and when we had them, we could not take them, whereas on the stroke of half time Liverpool punished us for failing to close down with possibly only their second chance in the half.

Cometh the second half and for the most part Liverpool looked largely in control and got the second goal that seemed inevitable and at that point sealed the win. The introduction of Armstrong, Ings and Djenepo brought some life back into our team but it took an error for us to score and then with the goal gaping, we did, what we seem to do all too often, failed to convert a chance that seemed easier to score than miss.

Overall it was a good performance by us, but it meant nothing in the end and I am afraid, I am not in that plucky parade that readily say and comfort themselves that at least we can say we played well. Do you think successful teams, take comfort in playing well or worry about winning dirty?

I thought our midfield was better yesterday. Romeu for me was having an excellent game. Our defence well, it was better I suppose, but still made errors that were costly. Yoshida was a welcome addition, though he had a couple of close calls - but then he has out for a while. Valery had a mare of a game and some of the early shine and promise has probably gone off. However, he is young and I recall McMenemy was a master at bringing on young players but dropping them briefly into the reserves when they lost their confidence and then return better. He will get better.

But if our defence is proving costly, so is our attack. No matter who we seem to put up front, we are profligate in front of goal and in the end yesterday we should have at least have come away with a point.

Armstrong did well when he came on as did Djenepo and the latter could really make a difference if the short spell of his introduction was a genuine indication of what he may offer our game. I am cautious to get too excited by the prospect as like many of us, we have seen too many false dawns.

Mariner from what I saw live, was awful, simply awful. How he could book Romeu for a supposed late tackle and then not do the same when one was made on Djenepo was bewildering. But, I have not seen the highlights and my reaction to the ref could be unjust! I am sure others on this forum can give a more balanced view.

It is difficult to see where our points will come from. If we cannot score and our defence has at least 2 or 3 costly mistakes per game then I am in danger of stating the bleedin' obvious here. We need to have a good game every game, but also, I would be quite happy if we are as boring as hell at Brighton but get a win out if it. Looking at yesterday, I cannot see us getting any points against any of the top 6 sides, because though we may match in performance, they are clinical and we are anything, but.

I did though, enjoy the game. The atmosphere was not bad. I was conscious of the Liverpool supporters in the boxes and there was no humility in their celebrating in front of the home fans. In the 70's and 80's I had a respect for their football and their managers, but I really struggle to find anything likeable about LFC and their fans, even though, I will concede that Klopp has made them an exciting team to watch - I really dislike LFC and everything connected to them in an almost irrational way.
[Post edited 18 Aug 20:39]
My take on yesterday
at 13:13 11 Aug 2019

My take on yesterday.

I will try to put some perspective on the game, but I am liable to slip into the "bedwetting" category. I thought I would let a few hours pass and watch the highlights to see whether my initial depressed reaction after the game was an over-reaction.

When last season closed, I felt quite optimistic that this season would be different. I thought we would have a good close season and we would be up and running unlike previous seasons.

Burnley - one of my nearest grounds for me, but I have to admit, I have never enjoyed going there yet or seen a good match against them. Burnley's football is awful (but effective) and their fans some of the most unpleasant. My expectation for this game was, probably a dull game with a draw or 1-0 win either way. Add into the mix, when have Saints last had a good start to a season, irrespective of the quality of the team and manager? I was hoping this season may have been different.

The first half was largely a dull uninspiring affair, but not all that surprising. My feeling that it would be a draw or a 1-0 win either way seemed about right. We started quite brightly and for some better finishing we may have taken that lead (where have we heard that before?). We were probably fortunate not to have had a booking or two.

Second half seemed to start similar, though you could tell Burnley were targeting our back line. So it proved - 12 minutes of madness (again). As if Stephens had not already shown his all too familiar frailty, Vestergaard dared to even look worse! All I wanted was someone to take responsibility and just clear their bl**dy lines. At times we were a mess at the back - in fact, completely unprofessional. Even Bednarek seemed clumsy and unassured. You have to wonder what they had been doing all close season or the more likely conclusion - that none of them are good enough for this level - which we have all been saying ad finitum for how long now?

It would though be too easy to just criticise our defence. As the game went on, our midfield and frontline became increasingly ineffective and supine. Ings was awful - he offered nothing of note. I said before the season started when people suggested we should score a lot - what if you come up against a team that is tactically streetwise and knows how to stop you scoring?

It would be easy to panic, but it is the first game. The thing is, it was opposition that in itself was not great and that is the worrying thing.

I did not see anything yesterday that suggested anything has changed. Did we not concede 3 goals against West Ham and Newcastle at the end of last season? (I haven't checked - so I my memory may be playing me up). Some pundits are predicting us as relegation candidates and on yesterday's showing you would struggle to prove them wrong.

On the MOTD highlights, the mess of our defence was even more apparent. I thought Ralph demeanour came across reesigned and somewhat defeated. Unless things can improve, I would not be surprised if he makes the decision to walk like his assistant.

A poor start and a horrid game and performance. Have to hope we get that out of our system quick, though, I cannot see it happening next week!

I committed a cardinal sin yesterday which I feel I should admit to - I left the game 8 minutes early!

Membership cards
at 12:25 1 Aug 2019

I wonder why has the club been unable to issue membership cards in time for the new season? They were quick to take the money. It is not as if, they do not have a feel for the likely take up etc.

I also do not understand why they charge an admin on top for Home based games - a point I raised with the club for the final game against Huddersfield at the end of the season - why do you get charged admin fees when you have paid for a membership card and all they have to do is download your purchase to the card? They came back and said they reserve the right to charge an admin when they consider it appropriate!

Start of season nearly upon us
at 22:31 28 Jul 2019

Like many, I have my Burnley and Liverpool tickets and looking forward to a whole season under the stewardship of RH.

The acquisition of Djenepo and Adams fairly early in the transfer window was some positive business and on the face of it we have potentially gone some way to resolve our striking short-comings.

Nevertheless (and I appreciate this will not go down well), my early optimism has become diluted as increasingly it is looking likely that we are saddled with the same mix of defenders and our achilles heel that has beset us for the last 2 and a bit seasons. Ok, I appreciate that there is still time and no need to press the panic button add into the fact that traditionally, most transfer activity takes places in the dying days and hours of a transfer window - but I am not sensing any strong activity to strengthen our weakest position and even I have to concede there does not appear to be many options out there. The days when good defenders seemed to be 2 a penny now seems a precious and rare expensive commodity.

On evidence we should score more goals but in my years of being a supporter, good teams and tacticians work out ways to stop you scoring (plus all strikers go through droughts and then there are the injuries), whereas I have seen nothing in our defence in the last 2 and a bit seasons and even in the friendlies thus far that suggests that our defence can stop the opposition scoring.

We should do better than last season, but unless there is a sudden upturn in our transfer activity in our most vulnerable position, we will still I think be looking over our shoulder. RH is good, but he cannot resolve everything with what he has.

Mohammed Elyounoussi
at 22:42 23 Jul 2019

I may have missed his name, but I have not seen his name anywhere, on any team sheets, not mentioned in despatches or anything. What has happened to Elyounoussi?
Centre Backs
at 15:04 6 Jul 2019

I appreciate I am at risk of placing a stick in a hornets nest by daring to mention or start this thread - and honestly, I am not panic-ing it is just a question, particularly to the ITK's who are usually pretty much on the button - is there any hint or movement or any sign that we are looking near, far and wide for strengthening our much maligned defence?

We have done well so far in the transfer market and I know everything takes time and not everything can be done quickly, but unless I am missing it, I have seen little sign thus far of any noticeable interest in the market for building our defensive capabilities - I could be wide of the mark.

I think it is a difficult area to strengthen, as from what I can tell, there is not a plethora of players out there that are available in this position, that would knowingly significantly improve what we have, unless you are willing to fork out a huge sum of money, and even then, the choice is quite limited and if they were that highly valued, they would probably not choose SFC anyway. Maguire is a case in point - ridiculously expensive for what he is.

When does the current transfer window......
at 22:25 26 Jun 2019


I should probably know and I could not be bothered to look it up, but just wondered when it closes for this summer. I know a lot of you on here will know it in an instant.

There is no hidden meaning or agenda in this question, just curious.
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